The Perfect Positano Itinerary: Best Things to Do in One or Two Days

Discover the Charms of Positano, Italy: A Perfect Day in Paradise

Step onto the shores of Positano, and you will be instantly captivated by Mediterranean magic!

Scenic view of Positano during the evening, showcasing the colorful buildings and breathtaking coastal landscape

This is a detailed itinerary for 1 day in Positano. Many additional activities are also in this blog post. And tips on what to do in your extra days. So you can adopt it for a 2 or 3-day stay. If you visit Positano for a day trip: I included information about the last buses.

Positano, a coastal heaven nestled on the stunning Amalfi Coast, where pastel-coloured houses cascade down the hills, inviting you to explore their charming alleys.
The beach with azure waters shimmering under the warm Italian sun. Positano is synonymous with beachside bliss and the art of dolce far’ niente (the sweetness of doing nothing).

Summertime in Positano is all about sunbathing and sipping cocktails on the shore. But the town offers many experiences beyond seaside serenity: Culinary adventures, scenic hikes, fantastic views, and charming museums.

For adventure enthusiasts, picturesque hikes await you, ranging from simple trails to scenic wonders, like the famous Path of Gods. 

Shopping for locally crafted souvenirs, discovering the best ice cream in town, and insight on boat rentals – we’ll cover it all in this comprehensive guide to Positano.

One Day in Positano: A Complete Itinerary

So we assume you arrive here early morning by ferry from Sorrento or Salerno (or you can take the ferry from most Amalfi Coast villages like Cetara, Minori, or Amalfi itself).
Of course, Positano is a small seaside town that is easy to cover on foot. So simple to follow the same itinerary arriving by bus too.
Many ups and downs are waiting for you anyway, no matter where you are starting to explore!

Enjoy the Splendor of the Amalfi Coast

The Vertical City: view of creamy-colored houses cascading down the cliffs, above the Marina Grande in Positano, Italy.

Arriving by ferry at Spiaggia Grande, you will see the picturesque sight of houses perched on the hilltop.
The scenery of Positano welcomes you with its postcard-perfect look in every season and weather. (Spiaggia Grande means: Big Beach in Italian.)

Start With a Filling Breakfast in Central Positano

If you skipped breakfast in the morning to catch the ferry, head up to Bar Posides. This bar serves savoury breakfast with scrambled eggs and American-style pancakes. Enjoy a panoramic view of Positano from the balcony of the bar.

For sweet options, Zagara is a renowned patisserie where you can try local treats like tiramisu, lemon delight, and baba. If you already had breakfast, then time for a delightful mid-morning break (or merènda in Italian).

Zagara’s terrace is a lovely opportunity to recharge and have a small treat.
While they do serve food, their specialty lies in crafting heavenly desserts. So to truly savor the essence of this place, I recommend focusing on the desserts and pastries.

For a quick breakfast in Italian style, cappuccino, and cornetto (croissant): the Positano Paradise Lounge Bar is a perfect choice. This classic Italian bar offers good cappuccino, croissants, and cakes. They also have snack options like pizza slices later in the day. The bar has a terrace and view overlooking the Spiaggia Grande.

Scenic view of Positano nestled along the shoreline, with classic purple bougainvillea flowers in the foreground.

After breakfast, it’s time to swim and sunbathe!

Enjoy a Relaxing Beach Experience in Positano

Spiaggia Grande: Sunbathing and Swimming at the Main Beach

Head to Spiaggia Grande and either rent a sun chair or enjoy a swim at the free section of the beach. Sun chairs typically cost around 25-30 euros at the main beach.
Experience true luxury and secure a sun chair at La Scogliera as the elite does, situated at the southern edge of the beach. Just a heads up: peak season prices can reach high (even 400 euros per day).
This exclusive beach club offers a premium experience where guests can enjoy luxury and be treated like royalty. In this beach club, you can pre-book sun chairs and find a more intimate ambiance, to relax. The place provides an escape from the crowds.

Escape the Crowds: Discover Fornillo Beach as an Alternative

The beach of Fornillo in Positano. Blue and white striped sun chairs in a row, on the shore. Light blue seawater and high mountines in the backgground.

The main beach in Positano offers a breathtaking scenic view of the town, but it can get extremely crowded. The Spiaggia Grande is very busy, especially during the high season in July and August. The ferries arrive at the main beach and contribute to the influx of people.

Fornillo, Positano. The view of the beach from above. Rows of colourful sun loungers on the shore. Inviting clear water. Lush vegetation on the foreground.
Areal view of the beach of Fornillo in Positano, Italy © Veronika Pfeiffer

Fornillo Beach is an excellent alternative and is less crowded. Only a short up and down on some stairs, takes around 15 minutes to walk. To reach Fornillo Beach, take the small pedestrian trail starting from the northern edge of Spiaggia Grande (near the Restaurant Covo dei Saraceni, where the ferry stops). However is located in Positano, but still Fornillo Beach has a quieter atmosphere. Here you have two options: to rent sun chairs or enjoy the free section where you can swim and relax on your own towel.

After the beach time, it’s time to explore the cultural treasures.

Learn about Local History and Culture

Visit the Villa Romana and Church of Santa Maria Assunta

Positano offers much more than stunning scenery. This charming town has been a holiday destination since Roman times. And attracted privileged noble families who came here for relaxation and leisure. The Villa Romana stands as a testament to this rich history. You can see some outstanding wall paintings in this museum. Don’t forget to bring a pullover, because the museum is kept cool for preservation. Also offers a bit of an escape from the midday heat.

Near the museum is the main church of Positano, also known as the Church of Santa Maria Assunta. Founded in the 12th century, this ancient church is an important cultural heritage. The dome has an iconic cupola. The cupola roof is decorated with traditional majolica tiles, a classic element in the Amalfi Coast churches.

Shop for Unique Souvenirs

Discover Charming Boutiques and Ceramic Shops

Positano is renowned worldwide for its fashion and ceramics.

Wondering what to buy in Positano? Make sure to try the local specialty, Limoncello. This famous lemon liqueur, typical to the Amalfi Coast, has a vibrant citrus flavour. You’ll find it in various shops and restaurants throughout Positano, where you can taste it. In addition to Limoncello, you can find a variety of other liqueurs with different tastes. One example is Meloncello, a melon-based liqueur known for its sweet and aromatic taste. Another option is Finochietto, an herbal liqueur made from fennel seeds with a unique and refreshing flavour profile.
Limoncello is an absolute must-try during your time in Positano. Purchase a bottle as a souvenir to take home, and savour the essence of Positano long after your visit.

Lunchtime in Positano

Positano offers a variety of delicious options to eat.

The beach restaurants are generally good, but they tend to be on the pricier side. If you are looking for a budget-friendly alternative, head to one of the small deli shops where they can make you a delicious panini (panini is an Italian word for a sandwich). Among these small grocery shops, Delicatessen is a famous one. A frequently photographed spot for its charming storefront. Here, in addition to making sandwiches, they also serve pasta dishes.

My personal recommendation:

I suggest trying Simone’s Burger.

The place has a fantastic 5-star rating, making it more than a budget-friendly option and delicious meal but also a must-try in Positano!

Follow the road Viale Pasitea and let the enticing aroma of barbecued meat guide you. Look for “Simone’s Sandwiches” on Google Maps.
A hamburger with a refreshing soda or beer would cost you around 10 euro.
Simone’s Burger is a food track-style place. You can have your burger served with Tabasco sauce, adding an extra kick to your meal.
You will find some sitting areas or ask for takeaway.

Experience the Panoramic Views and Natural Beauty from Montepertuso Il Buco

Fascinating natural rock formation in Positano, featuring a captivating hole in the rock wall. The sunset is casting a warm, orange glow on the rocks and clouds.

After enjoying lunch, you can take a small bus to Montepertuso or Nocelle to experience breathtaking views. From Montepertuso, you can admire Positano from a higher point and take in the panoramic scenery. The village name “Montepertuso” means “mountain with a hole” in the local dialect. The window-like opening in the rocks is a natural wonder that can be reached with a walk less than 20 minutes from the bus stop.

Take the bus from Positano to Montepertuso. The path to the hole starts from the main square of Montepertuso, just after the Il Ritrovo Restaurant. The hike is of medium difficulty and takes around 20 minutes. The trail is mostly a staircase upwards. It is well-signed and you will also be greeted with a stunning view of the Amalfi Coast.

The bus departs from the center of Positano (Piazza dei Mulini) to the direction of Nocelle.

The tinny village Nocelle is a charming and crib-like settlement. Nocelle was only connected with a drivable road in the 90s. It’s where the famous Path of the Gods trail ends when coming from Agerola.

Looking for a viewpoint closer to Positano?

Prefer a place without the need to figure out bus rides? Do you have limited time before catching your ferry? Just walk up to the top of the town on the stairs. The “Fotopoint Positano” is signed on Google Maps. (It is located on the left side of the hilltop when you stand with the sea at your back).
This small balcony-like square offers a fabulous view and has a small bar and a charming granita stall parked along the road. Take some selfies with the refreshing lemonade ice in your hand (before it melts). The terrace is decorated with vibrant flowers in charming ceramic pots.

Explore the Scenic Amalfi Coastline from the Sea

Do a sunset boat tour!

A sunset along the coast of Positano is just picturesque. The colors are simply stunning as dusk settles in. A sunset boat is a perfect culmination of a day trip to Positano. However, due to the geographics of the area, sunset arrives earlier in Positano as the sun sets behind the mountains. It’s recommended to plan your boat tour around 6 PM.

You can pre-book your sunset boat cruise it with our affiliate link here.

Sample Local Cuisine, Fresh Seafood, or Pizza

Have an Aperitif or Ice Cream!

The bar Buca Di Bacco in Positano is a popular place. This Italian-style bar is located right on the Marina. Perfect to enjoy an aperitif right by the beach. Their ice cream is absolutely fantastic! In fact, I must say it’s one of the best I’ve ever had along the Amalfi Coast!

Barman making lemon sorbet at the famous bar Bucca di BBacco in Positano.

Plan a dinner:

The La Tagliata is a popular restaurant in Positano. It is located in Monterpertuso area.
The restaurant has characteristic and charming terraces. La Tagliata restaurant is a good choice for meat lovers.

Or stay on the main road and try the local favourite:

Restaurante Bruno
The tables on the sidewalk have a stunning view. Here you can try some classic pasta and seafood dishes.

To conclude your one-day itinerary in Positano, good to know the last bus departures.

If you’re fortunate enough to extend your stay in Positano for two or more days: then keep reading for a list of things to do during your visit. You will find more recommendations after the bus schedules.

Bus Schedules and Last Departures for Sorrento Salerno and Amalfi directions

The buses from Positano to Sorrento usually run until late evening.
As for the schedule of the 2023 summer: the last bus is at 22:20 on weekdays and 21:50 on Sundays. The bus stops are Positano (Chiesa Nuova) and Positano (Sponda). From the latter account, a departure time is around 10 minutes earlier.
For the direction of Amalfi: the last bus leaves at 21:20.

The buses can be crowded. Often they do not stop when they are full.
Try to take the bus before the last one in high season and on weekends.
Check the specific schedules, and ensure you catch one of the last ones back.

If you are based in Salerno, the best and most comfortable way to get back is the last ferry at 18:30. You need to change in Amalfi. You can go back by bus too, but you have to allow for the transfer time in Amalfi.

Consider arranging a private driver for more flexibility and to avoid any inconvenience. A private driver would allow you to fully enjoy your time in Positano without worrying about bus schedules.

2. Additional day itinerary:

On the second day in Positano, you have multiple options:

To make the most out of your stay, start your day early.

Hike along the famous Path of the Gods and enjoy some beach time later in the afternoon.

Take the bus or the ferry with the shuttle bus to reach the starting point in Bomerano. The scenic trail back to Nocelle takes approximately 4 hours. Allow 1 additional hour to reach Positano. Remember to wear suitable hiking shoes for this adventure.

For more recommendations on the Path of the Gods and detailed instructions on how to get there, check out my dedicated post.

Once back in Positano, you can rest on the seaside and enjoy the well-deserved beach time.

Another option is to have some extra beach time:

Plan a leisurely beach day and explore the hidden gems of Positano beaches: Arienzo and Laurito.

The famous beach club Arienzo near Positano. Vibrant orange and white striped umbrellas on the shore.

To visit the beach cove of Laurito, hop on the bus and make a short descent down a set of stairs. It is possible to reach Laurito by land: A bus ride would take 10 minutes and 15 minutes to walk downwards on the trail.
If you prefer a more convenient way to get there:
Book a table at the Da Adolfo restaurant on Laurito Beach. The restaurant offers a boat service from Spiaggia Grande.

Arienzo Beach also has restaurants where you can try excellent seafood lunch on the coast.

Rent a Kayak for an Independent Exploration

Paddle to secluded beaches inaccessible by foot and discover the hidden coastal gems of Positano.
Enjoy the unique perspective of the stunning coastline at your own speed.

Whether you choose hiking, beach hopping, or kayaking, your second day in Positano promises unforgettable moments of adventure and relaxation.

Cooking class in Positano

If you’re looking for an alternative activity or the weather isn’t ideal for swimming: Consider taking a cooking class in Positano. It’s a great way to learn about traditional dishes and local ingredients. The Latteria bar is one of the places that organise cooking classes, but many other places offer them too. Joining cooking is a fantastic opportunity to enrich your culinary skills and create delicious Italian dishes, that you can replicate at home. You can pre-book your cooking class here.

Getting to Positano

From Rome:

  1. Take the High-Speed Train from Rome to Naples. Then proceed with a ferry and/or train/bus.
  2. Take the High-speed Train from Rome to Salerno. Then proceed with a bus or ferry
  3. Book a private driver from Rome all the way along, directly to Positano.

From Naples to Positano:

Option 1: Direct Ferry

  • Transfer to the Ferry.
  • Reach the ferry station by taking metro line 1 from the main train station.
  • Take the Alibus directly to the harbour “Molo Beverello” from the airport.

For detailed information on schedules, timings, and pricing for the ferry routes, please refer to my dedicated post. Here you will find information on how to reach the harbour in Naples too.

Option 2: Train and Bus

  • Take the train line called “Circumvesuviana” to Sorrento.
  • From Sorrento, take the bus operated by the company SITA to Positano.

Option 3: Private Transfer

  • Consider a private transfer for a comfortable journey. The distance is approximately 55 kilometers. Takes 1 hour and a half to drive without considering the traffic.

Pre-book your private transfer from Naples to Positano with your affiliate partner.

Alternative Option: Naples to Positano via Salerno

  • Hop on a train in Naples towards Salerno. High-speed trains complete this journey in 20 minutes, while slower regional trains take 40 minutes.
  • From Salerno, you can continue your journey by ferry, with a change in Amalfi, or by bus, also with a change via Amalfi.

Note: Remember to check the schedules and availability of transportation options before your trip.

Thank you for reading! If you find my post helpful: check out my Ravello itinerary too.
You can visit Ravello on a day trip from Positano.

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Alternative Option: Naples to Positano via Salerno

  • Hop on a train in Naples towards Salerno. High-speed trains complete this journey in 20 minutes, while slower regional trains take 40 minutes.
  • From Salerno, you can continue your journey by ferry, with a change in Amalfi, or by bus, also with a change via Amalfi.
Positano at night

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